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Worst customer service ever!
Old 21st June 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Worst customer service ever!

I don't remember ever writing a bad review for a business before. This time though I will.

I currently own 6 Brent Averill 312 preamps, a Brent Averill 6 space 500 series rack, an 11 space Brent Averill 500 series rack, 4 Brent Averill 1272 and recently sold my Brent Averill 1073.

I bought all these gear new in person from Mark a few years back when he was still working for Brent Averill in the valley here in L.A.

Mark told me how great these racks were and how the power supply is better then the other brands and he also answered my question about the sound of their 1272 compared to original neve 1073 by saying "these ones actually sound better then the old ones"

Now fast forward a few years later and Brent Averill is now BAE and from my understanding Mark is the owner.

I have had many issues with their gear, from the preamps stop working in the middle of sessions or start making noise and needing constant cleaning to severe loss of volume in my 1272 (my 2 pairs currently have more then 15 dbs of gain difference), then several months ago my 6 space rack died on me in the middle of a session.

Since BAE bought Brent Averill I brought my 1272 there for servicing and when talking to Mark here is what he told me: "it's a shame that so many of these 1272 are still out there, they were not built right and don't sound like the original ones, we have new ones with a better design now"

Obviously he didn't remember me or our conversation a few years earlier, but I sure as hell did, since I dropped $6000 in his hands in that instance!!

So now that I brought in my 6 space rack guess what I hear again: "well these racks are obsolete and the power supply was not at audio standard quality, it was a generic one, so we can fix it for $150 but we can't guarantee it, or you can buy our new improved one for $250!"

Seriously?!!

So let me sum this up, basically everything Mark said was "great" and "better then the old ones" , turned out to be "a shame" or "not at at audio standard quality" and every time I bring in a unit for repair I get the "this is obsolete buy the new improved one" speech.

Well NO THANKS! You have lost all your credibility. I don't care if BAE is now a new company, you are still the same person who sold me these units and as much as I understand sales and accept some degree of "sweetening" while talking about a product, this conduct is unacceptable and dishonest in my book.

I have spent well over $100k in gear in the last few years and I have had to deal with customer service from different companies and never did I receive such terrible customer service laced with deception. All they care about is to sell new gear.

I bought a used Fatso on ebay which turned out to have an issue, Empirical Labs fixed it for me at no charge without even asking me a question. I bought a Smart C1 and was annoyed with the lack of markings on the threshold knob (I love that unit though!) and Mr Smart himself made me custom labels and sent them here from the UK and had the guys at Sunset Sound install them for me for free!! Api sent me replacement screws for vintage 550s for free even paying postage and Manley did the same when I needed some little parts on my Massive Passive and also fixed my VariMu (bought on ebay) for free.

Guess what these are all brands that i bought more gear from, because besides the great sound I know I can trust that my investment is protected by serious companies that actually care about their name and their customers.

Now I don't expect free repairs (but really appreciate the customer service and care of these companies when I'm offered one) but to be told that the thousands of dollars I've spent in supposedly top notch gear went actually into low quality gear that now has basically no customer service earns BAE a big fat ZERO.

Needless to say, I'll pick up my rack as it is and sell it for parts, I am not giving another single dollar to these clowns.
Old 21st June 2013
  #2
Of course Mark or any salesman is going to tell you that their current product is the best. And the next version is even better that the first and this can go on ad nauseam. It is salesmanship and everything from cars to toothpaste is sold this way. The new one is always better than the past - otherwise why would you want to buy the new one.

There are lots of things that have been sold over the years that later proved to be not as good as promised the latest being the Airbus A380 with all its problems. The airlines are spending millions buying new aircraft only to find that there are problems that have to be fixed. How do you think they feel.

I can feel your pain and I too have gone though similar problems with equipment and software. The big difference is how the companies treat you AFTER the sale. If they stand up and take responsibility for the problems, as most do, they you will be happy. If they don't take responsibility and try and make it seem like it is your problem then they make you unhappy.

Best of luck and I hope they stand up and to the right thing for you.
Old 22nd June 2013
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thomas I agree with you.

That is exactly the issue here, one thing is trying to make a sale and another is not taking care of your customers.

I have worked in sales and I have done managing of businesses as well, there were all sort of other ways to handle this and move on, they really didn't care to hold on a customer, even though I spent a considerable amount of money on their products.

I put this info out so that others are aware of how this company views their customers and take that into consideration when considering their purchase.
Old 26th June 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
duvalle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTTTM View Post
Since BAE bought Brent Averill I brought my 1272 there for servicing and when talking to Mark here is what he told me: "it's a shame that so many of these 1272 are still out there, they were not built right and don't sound like the original ones, we have new ones with a better design now"


here is a quote from the old BAE site (via archive.org):

Quote:
The 1272 preamp yields a really fat sound. It seems to add subharmonics to the low end which makes the bottom end sound huge. It smoothes the top end which gives the highs a silky sheen. As well the 1272 compresses transients a little bit. It is a smooth, fat, larger than life sound. An added bonus is to use the DI inputs to fatten samples, synths and mixes since the DI can handle line levels.

Brent Averill 1272 Class A Mic Preamps:
Two Class A preamps with direct inputs in a single rack space with a power supply
Made from an authentic reproduction of a Neve 1272 module
High Impedance direct input for guitar and synthesizer
Output level control serves as gain trim between the 5 dB steps on gain switch
Balanced mic input and balanced +4 dB output are on XLR connectors off the rear of the module.
Same Class A preamp as Neve 1073 equalizer/preamp modules
Pad is an integral part of the gain switch same as Neve 1073 equalizer/preamp modules
Has integrated phantom power with a lighted switch on the front panel
Oversize remote power supply can operate up to four channels of preamp
tbh i always liked the sound of the 1272 as long as i owned them.
but i had to repair 1 channel like 2-3 times ...
Old 16th March 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
I have the original (before BAE) "made from Neve" 1272s and they sound incredible. I asked BAE customer service if they still offer repairs or recap service and no reply. So I second your motion that BAE has miserable customer service. They're not broken but I would like to know that I can have them fixed if I need to. Also would like to replace the LED in the phantom power button which went out shortly after I bought it. I hear that this is common. But still no response from BAE customer service no matter how many times I email them.
Old 16th March 2015
  #6
eb7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
But still no response from BAE customer service no matter how many times I email them.
My experience with BAE was a pretty good one. However, I couldn't even find an e-mail address for them. You would be much better off giving them a call.
Old 16th March 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
My experience with BAE was a pretty good one. However, I couldn't even find an e-mail address for them. You would be much better off giving them a call.
I'm sure it's good if you have a BAE product, but it seems like he's practically disowned anything with a "Brent Averill" badge. Even though it's known to be some of the best sounding re-racked equipment ever made. Very strange.
Old 1st April 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Vintageidiot's Avatar
I brought my dmp in for a checkup after an email to service, BAE's customer service was awesome, and I got a t-shirt, my experience was totally opposite just weeks ago.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #9
Here for the gear
 
DanSwanigan's Avatar
 

I have had nothing but the greatest experience with BAE customer service. I bought 2 pairs of pre's and compressors used and had them checked over by cs in 2015. Probably the best day I've spent with any manufacturer to date in this industry. Try that with Heritage overseas, sitting in front of Skype, not so warm a feeling....
Old 7th April 2015
  #10
Gear Head
I have a hard time believing anyone has had a less than an amazing experience with Bae. I brought my 1073 mpf to them for a check up a few months ago and they were super attentive with me. When I asked very specific questions about using the line in feature on the pre (for 2bus) they were more than willing to put me in contact with their product specialist who was super friendly and helpful. BAE for the win.
Old 30th January 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

I agree with TTTTM.

I had a noise issue with the BAE 1272's PSU:

I called BAE Audio:

David: I have one of your BAE 1272, is the PSU supposed to be dead silent or can it actually be making some slight noise?
BAE: It shouldn't make any noise
David: mine is actually making some noise
BAE: ... ah, you must have one of the older ones!
David: Yes, indeed (...). Is it normal or could it be a default?
BAE: I can not tell, but the design wasn't perfect then, and we know have corrected the design in our actual units.
David:: What should I do now, can it be repaired?
BAE: You could buy one of our new PSU? The price is 250$

David: can you upgrade my 1272, to your newer 1272 design?
BAE: no they can't
David: can you give me some information on how to improve my 1272 and correct the PSU issue myself then?
BAE: no

...
Old 30th January 2018
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by David1085 View Post
I agree with TTTTM.

I had a noise issue with the BAE 1272's PSU:

I called BAE Audio:

David: I have one of your BAE 1272, is the PSU supposed to be dead silent or can it actually be making some slight noise?
BAE: It shouldn't make any noise
David: mine is actually making some noise
BAE: ... ah, you must have one of the older ones!
David: Yes, indeed (...). Is it normal or could it be a default?
BAE: I can not tell, but the design wasn't perfect then, and we know have corrected the design in our actual units.
David:: What should I do now, can it be repaired?
BAE: You could buy one of our new PSU? The price is 250$

David: can you upgrade my 1272, to your newer 1272 design?
BAE: no they can't
David: can you give me some information on how to improve my 1272 and correct the PSU issue myself then?
BAE: no

...
Most companies will try and help to the best of their abilities. When it comes to older pieces of equipment they can try and fix it or offer you a replacement for the item in question (if they are still in business).

I used to own a lot of MCI and Ampex gear and it was well built and worked well. One of my MCI JH110C machines blew a regulator in the power supply and took out all the transport logic ICs. I had to replace them all since MCI, by that time, was no longer in business. It was expensive and time consuming but my deck worked well for years afterwards. I did not get upset at MCI since it was not their fault the regulator blew. Yes they could have put a fuse in the line or used a "crowbar" device to stop the voltage from going to high but for some reason they did not.

Equipment is built to have a working life and after that time it is up to the manufacture how they will deal with units that are no longer in production or that have been changed in the interim. Sometimes it is as simple as upgrading the ICs in the unit sometimes the whole circuit card has been redone and parts added or upgraded and there is no way for them to make a Level "a" card into a current production model.

I feel your pain but try and look at it from the manufacture's point of view.

Best of luck in getting your problems solved.
Old 25th July 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Lucin Niega's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David1085 View Post
David: can you give me some information on how to improve my 1272 and correct the PSU issue myself then?
BAE: no

...
Curious as to the outcome. Did you get the ps fixed, or did you buy a new one from BAE? Did that clear up your noise issue with the 1272?
Old 25th July 2019
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucin Niega View Post
Curious as to the outcome. Did you get the ps fixed, or did you buy a new one from BAE? Did that clear up your noise issue with the 1272?
I bought the newer one from BAE (cause I found it secondhand), and it did clear the noise issue.
Old 25th July 2019
  #15
Gear Nut
 

I probably was a bit harsh on BAE: it s true that they are not really responsible for the Brent Averil PSU's, that were made before they took over the company.
Old 25th July 2019
  #16
Gear Nut
 

But yes again, calling all their (D)MP preamps "1073", when they are just 1272's, is quite unhonnest to their customers.
Old 26th July 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Suspects's Avatar
 

Not to justify bad behavior, but it shouldn't come as a complete surprise - Brent Averill Enterprises was quite a few years ago. They are now two completely different companies, with different design philosophies and different product lines (this from an owner of a pair of Brent Averill 1272's and API "made from vintage components" preamps).

Just saying...

Dave/Suspect Studios
Old 31st July 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 

My bae is the worst too
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Best customer service Ever

I wanted to take a moment and say that Mark at BAE has handled my recent situation like a true Pro, I would also like to give a special thank you to Brian the Tech who repaired my BAE 1084.
I sent in my unit to be brought up to spec and Fedex broke my preamp in transit, the box was badly damaged, the faceplate was bent etc,
I filed a claim with Fedex.
Mark took care of the repair for me and I believe Fedex is reimbursing BAE.
The entire 2 weeks has been a nightmare of me worrying and thinking if Fedex will compensate them, losing sleep, and the good news is they are shipping it back to me today.
I spoke to Brian a bunch of times and Mark called me today about the good news, which is my 1084 is silent and everything is back to normal.
I know every situation is different, but Mark and Brian have exceeded my expectations with this, and their communication was A1 the whole way.
Thank you Mark and thank you Brian, I am BAE for life !!!!!!!!!

Last edited by Derek Reese; 3 weeks ago at 09:10 PM..
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